The last time our family went to the Walt Disney World in Florida, we sure loved our time in Epcot. There we discovered the United Kingdom Pavilion which looked like what Americans imagine a typical village in the UK might look like.
Of course, that wasn’t exactly true all of the time when we did visit the UK afterwards. So, while we were there, we went ahead and just visited all the theme parks in the UK. And we found some truly great theme parks that you and your family ought to visit as well, if you ever visit the United Kingdom—it’s not all about the castles!
Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England
We booked our rooms in the North Stafford Hotel, and the Alton Towers is near the village of Alton, about 13 miles away. That sure was fun, for all members of the family. The kids loved the Sharkbait Reef where they got to see some black tip sharks, and there’s also a Tropical Interactive pool where the shrimps nibbled on our kids’ fingertips.
The kids rode the Octonauts Rollercoaster Experience, and enjoyed their time with the Ice Age: The 4D Experience.
For the adults, there was the scary TH13TEEN, which is the first freefall drop rollercoaster in the world. It seems obvious enough why no one else thought to design this type of rollercoaster before, as that freefall drop is truly frightening.
Then we also tried the exhilarating Rita rollercoaster. That ride got us up to 100 kph in less than 3 seconds, so it was truly like a rocket launch.
Drayton Manor in Staffordshire
We then went to the nearby Drayton Manor with its 280 acres of parkland. Many of the rides got us wet, so be ready. There’s the Shockwave, which is the only standup rollercoaster in Europe. Then you also have the Apocalypse, which is the first ever tower drop in the world.
There’s also a zoo here with more than a hundred different species, and the kids also loved Dinosaurland and the Pirate Adventure. All in all, it was a great time.
Thorpe Park in Surrey
Plenty of local visitors here are fans of the UK TV show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here. Basically, it’s a group of celebs living in extreme circumstances with various challenges to go through first, to secure treats and food.
Here, the theme park visitors can pretend to be those celebrities, while they go through a jungle maze and face challenges such as the ominously named Catacombs of Doom.
Then there are the rides that are just plain scary. There’s SAW – THE RIDE, which is basically the theme park counterpart to Saw the movie. It’s the first horror film rollercoaster in the world, and the experience also includes dropping at 100 degrees from a height of 100 feet.
Then there’s also the relatively new Ghost Train Experience. Sure, there have been other “ghost train” rides before, but this surely takes the cake. It’s a psychological horror that lasts for 13 minutes, and then you’re in a Victorian-era train where strange things happen…Was it frightening? Oh, yes.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach in Lancashire
Regarded by many as “UK’s Favorite Amusement Park”, we certainly couldn’t miss it. So, we traveled to Lancashire and booked our rooms on one of the Blackpool hotels. We immediately understood why this place is so popular, since it boasts of more than 125 attractions and rides for the whole family.
We sure got our kicks with many of the various rides. The most memorably thrilling included Red Arrow’s Skyforce, Infusion, Ice Blast, and the renowned Big One.
That Big One is unforgettable, since it’s the tallest roller coaster in the UK. In fact, when it was first launched back in 1994, it was the tallest and steepest rollercoaster in the world. The first drop alone measured 205 feet, while you reach speeds of up to 74 miles per hour along with 3.5g of G-force.
The kids all enjoyed the dozen rides featuring cartoons, and they had their fill of Nickelodeon Land. Other shows included the Hot Ice show, along with a great time with hypnotist Ken Webster.
See you in the UK, and have a great time!